Paul’s parting words to Timothy are a window to his heart. He affords ‘preaching the word’ as the main responsibility. As far as Paul is concerned, his ultimate charge lies in the establishment of God’s kingdom, His judgment and the certainty of His return. This legacy is the baton passed on to Timothy, simply to ‘preach the word’. He also gives the reason for doing so – because there will be a time when many people will not want to hear the right doctrine of the Word which serves to convict concerning sin, rebuke, instruct, encourage and challenge. Rather, they are distracted by religious novelties and choose to hear only what suits them.
This remains our challenge. Stick to preaching the word when it’s favourable and when it’s unfavourable. The core message of the Gospel must never be diluted. Nor should the proclaiming of the Word be substituted with other things.
The criterion of success that Paul used to measure his life was whether he had kept the faith. The two pictures of a fight and a race illustrate what is involved in doing exactly this. But there is more. Gaze ahead in anticipation of a crown of righteousness waiting as a reward for a faithful and righteous life lived in the promise of Christ’s appearing. An essential element of persevering in this way is setting our hearts on Christ’s return and on the glorious prize made available to all His followers.
Keep on keeping on…
Passion DVD © 2010